Guest Blog Guidelines

Guest Blog GuidelinesThere are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Act I, Scene V)

One thing I’ve learned while blogging is that so many people have great ideas and great stories to share. Often they present things I haven’t considered. At other times, they look at them from a fresh angle, thus adding new perspective to an existing topic. As the Bard mentioned above, there are more things that affect business owners and entrepreneurs professionally and personally than I can imagine. I try to tap into the wealth of creative knowledge presented by others when I research my posts. However, getting the author to present the information directly is even better!

That’s why I invite you, our readers, to submit articles as guest posts. That’s a win-win-win in my book! I win because a guest post reduces the number of original posts I personally write. It’s a win for the guest author, since he or she now taps into a new audience, thus increasing their notoriety and (hopefully) popularity. Yet the greatest win is for the readers, since they now have for consideration more ideas told from new perspectives.

In order to make the process relatively painless, here are some guidelines for submitting posts:

  1. Submit your best work. Note this doesn’t require that you submit exclusive work, but we do want your best. That means we expect a well-researched and properly documented submission, even if it appears elsewhere. Needless to say, you should write from the heart as this leads to quality work. If the post originally appeared somewhere else, please note that at the end of the article.
  2. Keep the post on topic. Please refer to our Vision and Mission statements. The subject of your post must align with these. If it doesn’t, it will end up in the “circular file.”
  3. Format the post for readability. What we mean by this is organize your thoughts into succinct sentences and paragraphs. Create numbered or bulleted lists so readers can find relevant information quickly. This is especially important for longer posts. Many people skim posts looking for info they need immediately, so make it easy for readers to find what they seek.
  4. Create compelling titles and subheadings. With so many sources vying for readers’ attention, your post title has to grab interest quickly. Similarly, your subheadings should also be compelling. This also makes your post more readable (see the previous point).
  5. Use best SEO practices. This simply means consider the purpose of your article, select your keywords, and use them judiciously throughout your writing. Additionally, follow best practices in the use of Headings (1-6) so search engines can more effectively crawl your post. This is not just a benefit for us, but for you. The more SEO friendly your post, the better it does in the rankings, allowing you to connect with more readers.
  6. Submit properly documented images. This means providing proper attribution for the image along with any captions. Indicate where in the post you want an image to appear, and whether it is right or left justified. To the extent possible, we’ll place the image at the location you desire.
  7. Follow up on all comments. When you submit an article for publication, you assume the role of moderator for all comments posted in response. We don’t demand that you reply immediately, but we do expect you post a reply within 8 business hours. We define “business hours” as between 9:00AM – 5:00PM; if a post appears on the weekend, this rule still applies.
  8. How long should you make the post? The rule-of-thumb we use is make the post long enough to discuss the topic at hand. People generally don’t like to read a lot, so you’ll probably find that 1,000 words (or less) works well. However, don’t sacrifice clarity for the sake of brevity. Fully develop your theme, even while you strive for efficiency of expression.
  9. Submit as a Word 97 document. Whatever program you use for composing, please save the file in Word 97 format (the finished work should have a .doc extension, not a .docx). We find that generally works well (although the folks at WordPress may not agree). If you’re invited as either a Contributor or an Author, then you can format the submission within the WordPress Editor after receiving our approval of your submission.
  10. Provide a Bio. At the end of your submission, provide a short bio so our readers know who you are. You can include links to your blog or website, allowing our readers to connect with you. If you’re on WordPress and we invite you as either a Contributor or an Author, complete your Gravatar profile with an image and links to your site(s). This automatically appears at the end of a submitted post.

After you submit your article, what then? That’s where we take over. We’ll review your submission to see if it meets the criteria above. If it does, we’ll likely publish it. Still, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Our admins are also editors. We reserve the right to edit and reformat submissions as we see fit. Generally, we strive to keep all submissions as their authors intended, but sometimes we need to make adjustments. We have final say on all editing matters.
  • Allow time for review. Generally, two weeks is enough time for a proper submittal review. It may take less, particularly if the submitted post is less than 1,000 words. Therefore, once submitted, allow us to do our thing. Please wait patiently.
  • Our decisions are final. Once we decide whether or not to publish, our decision is the last word. If you don’t hear from us or see your work published in the time frame indicated above, we’ve decided not to use your submission. We won’t send an email indicating our decision to not use your work. Feel free to submit the article elsewhere.

We’re excited about the possibility of featuring your work! We hope this helps give you a larger audience, and ultimately gives our readers more of the insightful, informative articles they come to expect and use to help themselves grow professionally and personally.

3 thoughts on “Guest Blog Guidelines

  1. Pingback: What’s Up with the Blog?!! | Back-Office Bulletin

  2. Pingback: We’re Giving Away Swag!!! | Back-Office Bulletin

  3. Pingback: You’ve Got Stories. We Want to Share Them. | Back-Office Bulletin

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